The chemical bisphenol A (BPA) seems to aid the survival of inflammatory breast cancer cells that reveals a possible mechanism for how the disease grows according to new research in the journal Carcinogenesis. They found that BPA increases the cell signaling pathways known as mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPK) in inflammatory breast cancer cells. Researchers said “the study is the first to show that BPA increases signaling thorough receptors that communicate with the MAPK pathway and that the presence of BPA may lead to resistance to cancer drugs targetinmg this pathweay. In our cell model, more signaling led to increased growth of the cancer cells”
Researchers started by treating Inflammatory Breast Cancer cells with six endocrine-disrupting chemicals commonly found in the everyday environment found in food, medicine and agricultural products. The found that BPA, in addition to chemicals trichloroethane (HPTE) and methoxychlor, caused an increase in signaling to epidermal growth factor receptors (EGFR), that lie on the cell surface. When cells were treated with low doses of BPA, there was nearly a doubling of EGER and signaling to the MAPK pathway also increased. This weas accompanied with a rise in indicators of cancer cell growth. They also found that BPA exposure inhibited the effectiveness of drugs that work to kill cancer cells by inhibiting EGFR signaling. Research is ongoing.